DURBAN: Former Hawks detective, Jean Pierre van Zyl Roux, is the State’s key witness in a rhino poaching trial that is due to resume at the Mtubatuba Regional Court on Tuesday.
Roux arrested Dumisani Gwala, who allegedly is a kingpin in a rhino poaching syndicate that has a strong presence in KwaZulu Natal, during a 2014 sting operation he led in Manguzi, an area near the Mozambique border.
Gwala along with his two accomplices, Wiseman Makeba and Aubrey Dlamini, faced 10 charges related to activities involving threatened and protected species, which included the buying and selling of rhino horns.
Gwala has two further charges to his name: resisting arrest and attempted murder. The State alleged he disarmed and tried to shoot a policeman during the 2014 bust.
After more than 20 adjournments the matter eventually began before magistrate Celumusa Zungu in April last year, with Roux as the State’s first witness.